Van Duzer Hires Vintner

By Wine Press Staff

June 10, Van Duzer Vineyards announced its selection of Jerry Murray, an experienced Willamette Valley winemaker and vineyard manager, to head up the winemaking program at its 82-acre estate vineyards in Dallas.

Murray has worked for wineries in Germany, New Zealand and Oregon, including Patton Valley, his most recent employer - since 2005. He built a reputation for Pinot Noir at the Gaston winery.

In announcing the choice of winemaker, Van Duzer proprietor Carl Thoma noted, "Jerry Murray brings to Van Duzer a track record of sound winemaking practices and deep experience in cool-weather winemaking regions. Moreover, Jerry and Van Duzer share a commitment to sustainability and to a wine style that favors bright fruit and classic balance."

Murray said he was excited to tackle a new set of challenges in a 15,000-case winery and to work hand-in-hand with an experienced sales and marketing team to bring wines to market.

"I am a big fan of elegant wines that are lower in alcohol levels and that are food-friendly," Murray said.

The Van Duzer estate, he noted, is unique in its cool-weather site and diversity of soils, slopes and clonal material. "I see an opportunity to make truly distinctive wines that are elegant, vibrant and expressive of a unique piece of ground."

Murray started his new position June 14, transitioning from the winery's now-former winemaker, Jim Kakacek. It was previously announced that Kakacek would be departing the winery this summer. 

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